Unenclosed hut circle settlement and adjacent Prehistoric linear boundary 800m SSE of Trewortha Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1008958

Date first listed: 07-Aug-1992


Ordnance survey map of Unenclosed hut circle settlement and adjacent Prehistoric linear boundary 800m SSE of Trewortha Farm
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Cornwall (Unitary Authority)

Parish: North Hill

National Grid Reference: SX 24489 74529, SX 24747 74384


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

Bodmin Moor, the largest of the Cornish granite uplands, has long been recognised to have exceptional preservation of archaeological remains. The Moor has been the subject of detailed archaeological survey and is one of the best recorded upland landscapes in England. The extensive relict landscapes of prehistoric, medieval and post-medieval date provide direct evidence for human exploitation of the Moor from the earliest prehistoric period onwards. The well-preserved and often visible relationship between settlement sites, field systems, ceremonial and funerary monuments as well as later industrial remains provides significant insights into successive changes in the pattern of land use through time. The linear boundaries on Bodmin Moor consist of stone banks, sometimes incorporating facing slabs or projecting end-set slabs called orthostats. They may be massively constructed, up to 8m wide and 1m high, although the majority are much slighter. Built during the Bronze Age (c.2000- 700 BC), they fulfilled a variety of functions. Some run at high altitudes along a contour and appear to separate lower land used for cultivation from that less intensively used. Some may be territorial, marking the boundaries of land held by particular social groups. Others may serve to delineate land set aside for ceremonial and religious activities such as burial. Frequently linear boundaries are associated with other forms of contemporary field system. They provide important information on the farming practices and social organisation of Bronze Age communities and form an important element of the existing landscape. A substantial proportion of examples which have survived are considered worthy of preservation.

Stone hut circles were the dwelling places of Prehistoric farmers on the Moor, mostly dating to the Bronze Age (c2000 - 700 BC). The stone-based round houses consist of low walls or banks enclosing a circular floor area. Remains of a turf or thatch roof are not preserved. The huts occur singly or in groups and may occur in the open or be enclosed by a bank of earth and stone. This hut circle settlement and its adjacent linear boundary on Kilmar Tor have each survived well, the settlement entirely undisturbed and the boundary with only one very minor break due to later activity. The extensive peat growth about the upper parts of the boundary will preserve details of its construction, together with land surfaces and environmental evidence contemporary with its construction and use. The relationship preserved within the monument between the settlement and the boundary, and the monument's close proximity to other broadly contemporary settlement sites, linear boundaries and field systems demonstrate well the nature and development of social organisation and land use during the Bronze Age.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


The monument includes a small unenclosed Prehistoric hut circle settlement, incorporating two small enclosed plots, and an adjacent linear boundary situated near other broadly contemporary unenclosed hut circle settlements, linear boundaries and field systems on the lower western slope of Kilmar Tor on eastern Bodmin Moor. The monument is divided into two separate areas. The settlement covers an area of 0.15 hectares and includes four stone hut circles; the southern three are arranged in a north-south line, approximately along the contour and separated by gaps of 9m and 6m respectively, while the northernmost hut circle adjoins its neighbouring hut circle on a NW-SE axis. The hut circles survive with circular walls of heaped and coursed rubble and some boulders, up to 1.75m wide and 1.2m high, around levelled internal areas ranging from 5m to 9.5m in diameter. The hut circle walls are faced with both inner and outer edge-set slabs. Entrance gaps, 0.4m-1m wide, survive in all four hut circles, facing west in the three forming the north-south line, while the northerly hut circle's entrance faces south. The southernmost hut circle has a concentric porch of rubble walling, 1.3m from the hut circle wall and extending for 6m around its NW sector. The settlement also incorporates two small sub-circular walled plots, each attached to and extending from the hut circles. The northern plot is 14m in internal diameter and extends NNE from the adjoining northerly pair of hut circles, with a wall of contiguous boulders and edge-set slabs, 0.4m wide and 0.8m high. The other plot is more ovoid, measuring 22m north-south by 17m east-west, and includes the central hut circle of the north-south line in its western half. This plot has rubble walling with boulders, up to 1m wide and 0.75m high, incorporating edge-set inner facing slabs. Immediately north of its included hut, this plot's wall contains a single massive edge-set slab then undergoes a step in its course indicating a blocked former entrance at this point. A surviving entrance gap is located immediately south of the included hut circle's wall. The northern edge of the settlement is situated 11m south of the western end of the Prehistoric linear boundary. This boundary survives as a wall of heaped rubble and boulders, up to 4m wide and 1.5m high, though generally 2m wide and 0.75m high. Its construction varies along its length, from a broad spread of rubble to sections where the rubble is more neatly defined by edge-set slabs along one or both sides. The boundary extends for a total of 572m across the western and south-western slopes of Kilmar Tor. From its western terminal on a slight natural scarp above the marshy valley floor of the Withey Brook, the boundary runs eastwards, almost directly uphill, for 300m to the 320m contour level, incorporating numerous minor curves that characterise its entire course. From there it turns ESE and extends for a further 185m, reaching the 335m contour level and the edge of the broad shallow trough separating Kilmar Tor from the Langstone Downs and Bearah Tor. Near the centre of the latter section, an original gap in the boundary is marked by a 10m wide break in the wall, whose WNW terminal curves sharply to the NE for 14m. A more recent break, of 15m, is located towards the ESE end of the same section, occasioned by a small, 19th century stone-splitters' quarry at that point. Along its eastern 87m, the boundary turns to the SSE, running along the western edge of the broad trough and terminating as a visible feature at the edge of a deep peat bog. Along its terminal 43m, the wall is accompanied by a second wall, of similar construction, which gradually diverges from its NE side and runs straight across a slight curve in the boundary's course, giving a maximum gap of 5m between the walls. Hut circle settlements of different character are situated on the same slope, beyond this monument, 500m to the north, and 100m and 200m to the SSE. Similar linear boundaries, also beyond this monument, are located at intervals across the slope, 350m, 575m and 700m to the SSE, while another runs along the northern edge of the Langstone Downs from 190m SE of this boundary's eastern terminal.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 15133

Legacy System: RSM


consulted 9/1991, Carter, A./RCHME, 1:2500 AP transcription for SX 2473,
consulted 9/1991, Carter, A./RCHME, 1:2500 AP transcription for SX 2474,
consulted 9/1991, Carter, A./RCHME, 1:2500 AP transcriptions for SX 2473; SX 2574,
consulted 9/1991, Cornwall SMR entries for PRN 1077;1215;1216;1217,
consulted 9/1991, Cornwall SMR entries: PRN 1274(SE wall);1398(NW wall);1428(part),
consulted 9/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1077,
consulted 9/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1215 & 1216,
consulted 9/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1217,
consulted 9/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1287,

End of official listing